Blocking Donald Trump From Swing-State Ballots Pushed By Voter Groups

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A pair of activism organizations — Free Speech for People and Mi Familia Vota — are urging state authorities to block Donald Trump from ballots for what would at least be the general election in 2024, if he makes it that far, which polling and related data from amid the ongoing GOP primary suggest is likely.

Having recently sent a letter to that effect to the Secretary of State in Nevada, which is known as a swing state in presidential races, the organizations argued that there is no special legal framework from Congress needed for officials like Nevada’s Cisco Aguilar to make such decisions. The proposed basis for blocking Trump from the ballot is a piece of federal law that’s repeatedly come up in these sorts of discussions already: the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which broadly blocks individuals who swore an oath to defend the Constitution before later having some connection to insurrection from subsequently holding elected office. The insurrectionist activity at issue here is, of course, January 6.

It’s ridiculous when anybody on the Right tries to pretend like such wasn’t precisely the nature of January 6. Defendants whose cases originate with the riot have both pleaded guilty to and been convicted of the charge of seditious conspiracy, which is pretty straightforward! As for this case involving Nevada, the organizations argued to Aguilar “nothing in the text, original public meaning, or the Reconstruction-era history of Section 3’s implementation suggests that states need authorization from Congress to implement this part of the Constitution,” as summarized in a release.

Leaders at the outreach groups who are involved in this push spoke to issues including the obvious connection between Trump and what happened on January 6, which objectively wouldn’t have transpired without the lies Trump spread about the 2020 election combined with his encouragement for his fans to descend on Washington, D.C. “We all know that Donald Trump incited an insurrection to stop the certification of the 2020 election,” Irving Zavaleta of Mi Familia Vota said. “Under Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment, anyone who has taken the oath of office to defend the Constitution and then engages in an insurrection is disqualified from holding future public office. Trump is disqualified, and we strongly urge Secretary Aguilar to bar him from the ballot.”